Improving Medication Reconciliation in the Outpatient Setting

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Background: A systematic study into outpatient medication reconciliation was conducted to determine if a multifaceted intervention influencing providers and patients reduced discrepancies related to inadequate prescription medication reconciliation in an outpatient setting.

Methods: A prospective trial was conducted on 104 primary care patients at the Mayo Clinic. Patients in Phase I received standard care. Patients in Phase II received the intervention reconciliation process, which consisted of (1) mailed letters before appointments to remind patients to bring medication bottles or updated medication lists to their visits, (2) verification, and (3) correction of the medication list in the electronic medical record by the patient, and academic detailing and weekly audit and feedback of performance.

Results: Interventions resulted in a decrease in prescription medication errors from 88.9% of the visits in Phase 1 to 66% of the visits in Phase II (p = .005) and from 98.2% of the visits in Phase I to 84% of the visits in Phase II (p = .0134) when all medications were considered. The average number of discrepancies per patient decreased by more than 50% from 5.24 in Phase I to 2.46 in Phase II. The majority of discrepancies were minor.

Discussion: A multifaceted intervention including various members of the health care provider team (and the patient) is crucial to enhancing medication reconciliation.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2007

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  • Published monthly, The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety is a peer-reviewed publication dedicated to providing health professionals with the information they need to promote the quality and safety of health care. The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety invites original manuscripts on the development, adaptation, and/or implementation of innovative thinking, strategies, and practices in improving quality and safety in health care. Case studies, program or project reports, reports of new methodologies or new applications of methodologies, research studies on the effectiveness of improvement interventions, and commentaries on issues and practices are all considered.

    Also known as Joint Commission Journal on Quality Improvement and Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Safety
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